Paper of the Month - October, 2011

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A germline variant in the interferon regulatory factor 4 gene as a novel skin cancer risk locus.

Han J, Qureshi AA, Nan H et al.

Pigmented skin has long been known to be associated with a lower risk of skin cancer. In this article, single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) identified in a genome-wide association study of hair color were assessed for associations with the risk of three types of skin cancer simultaneously in a nested case-control study within the Nurses’ Health Study. Overall, 218 melanoma, 285 squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), and 300 basal cell carcinoma (BCC) cases, and 870 controls were analyzed. In addition to the two known pigmentation loci, MCIR and OCA2, this is the first study to suggest that the interferon (IFN) regulatory factor 4 gene (IRF4) for variant rs12203592 T allele is significantly associated with skin cancer.